Big news arrived on Wednesday, as a group of players led by U.S. national team star Abby Wambach confirmed they will not be taking legal proceedings against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association due to the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada taking place on turf instead of natural grass fields.
[ RELATED: Wambach talks “TurfGate” ]
After previously stating that the decision to host the tournament on turf pitches was an act of gender discrimination and calling the surfaces “inferior”, the group have now ended their legal battle ahead of the tournament being held across Canada this summer.
Here’s more from Wambach, who was the leading figure in the legal battle throughout.
“On behalf of the players, I want to thank all who aided our fight for natural grass fields at the 2015 World Cup including our volunteer lawyers from Canada and the United States,” Wambach said. “Our legal action has ended. But I am hopeful that the players’ willingness to contest the unequal playing fields – and the tremendous public support we received during the effort – marks the start of even greater activism to ensure fair treatment when it comes to women’s sports.”
You can read plenty more on the latest developments and the entire backstory from NBCSports.com’s Jeff Kassouf here, as the 2015 Women’s World Cup kicks off on June 6 across six cities in Canada.
The tournament will feature an expanded field of 24 teams for the first time and following the players withdrawing their threat of legal action, it will be the first senior FIFA tournament to be played entirely on turf.